Campus Protests and Demonstrations: The Role of Emergency Management

Publication Date: 2018
Abstract: Many institutions of higher education (IHEs) welcome the protests and demonstrations that are frequently a part of these movements, though the events often carry a variety of risks. Violence may erupt, facilities could be damaged or become inaccessible, and unfavorable media coverage could damage reputations, for example. Revenue could shrink if parents, sponsors, alumni, or other groups decide to distance themselves from the IHE after a controversial gathering. To define the role of the emergency management program during the planning process for events likely to result in protests and demonstrations, the National Center for Campus Public Safety facilitated a forum of campus public safety executives from 23 institutions of higher education in November 2017. The resulting report explores the forum discussions, including key challenges identified by participants, and provides a number of promising practices that emergency managers can implement to better coordinate protests and demonstrations.